Friday, April 19, 2013

Romancing the 'Cue

When my trusty old Weber grill came to the end of its useful life and we bid it fond farewell as it disappeared down the alley in the back of a friend's pickup truck, headed for the recycling center, we felt a momentary sadness that was quickly banished by the thrill of a shiny, new grill arriving the same day from a local home improvement store. The new one was big and hunky, weighty and imposing, a lusty, muscular sort of grill compared to the refined, efficient beauty of the Weber when it was new 15 years ago. Even the new name had authority - Char-Broil 940X.  I was smitten.

Beauty is as beauty does, however, and our relationship did not run smoothly. He was cranky, he was hungry, he was temperamental, and he was a quitter. 

I tried everything I could think of the coax him to life. Spraying his lid and grates with Pam to keep them from sticking, using the best charcoal, adjusting his grates, lining his ash tray with foil - you name it, I tried hard to please.

If I didn't get the vents adjusted just right, he pouted and refused to perform. If I fed him real wood charcoal, he sulked and refused to get hot. If I gave him too little fuel, he simply shut down, the sinking needle on his thermometer a clear indication of his mood. 

Several ruined meals later (those oysters still haunt me), I was ready to break up with him. The selfish bastard, I had done all I could and he still wanted more, more, more!  More time, more charcoal, more patience. I was fed up to here with this effing prima donna! 

But, he was beautiful. And sexy.

I decided to give it one more try. 

This time, I bought a huge bag of "competition briquets" from those guys whose name everyone knows. It was so heavy, I could barely get it into the trunk of my car and My Beloved had to carry it out to the deck. I filled the charcoal starter chimney right up to the top, a hefty load of fuel by anyone's reckoning. I lighted the newspaper to get it started, muttering dire threats if it refused to start, and left it alone while we took Cora on her nightly walk. No more coddling! Last chance, Big Boy. Fire up or get the hell out!

When we returned, the coals were perfect. I poured them into the firebox and positioned the grates. My beef ribs had been marinating all day in a haphazard mixture of Sartain's marinade, catsup, Worcestershire sauce, tomato mustard, pressed garlic, minced ginger, and honey Dijon mustard. They were ready.

Those briquets did the trick - the fire was so hot, I had to put a protective layer of foil under the ribs after the first sear and move them off the direct flame. Smoke billowed out of the vents, just as it was supposed to, and the sounds of sizzling could be heard even through the closed lid.

An hour later, the ribs were done - and delicious!  Another time, I'd tweak a bit but, hell, I was just thrilled to have actually produced a decent meal from this thing!  I'm still a little pissed with the fact that I had to punish and threaten him to get my hunky new grill to perform but maybe he has brought out my inner dominatrix. 

This is a promising start, baby, but let me down one more time and your ass is grass!

7 Comments:

Blogger cookiecrumb said...

Ohthankghod.
We haven't tried ours out yet!! :P

Friday, April 19, 2013  
Blogger nancy namaste said...

I LOVE it. Zoomie threatens the grill - behave or ELSE! Crack that whip baby and show who's boss.

Friday, April 19, 2013  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Cookiecrumb, just pour in a boatload of charcoal - that seems to be the ticket.

Nancy, somehow, I knew you'd get a kick out of this one. :-)

Saturday, April 20, 2013  
Blogger Greg said...

Ah...the thrill of the grill! I suppose like any relationship it takes work. :) Mangia!

Sunday, April 21, 2013  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Greg, love your comment! Perfect.

Sunday, April 21, 2013  
Blogger Toons said...

Ah yes there is FIRE in the belly! The Bar-B-Que is raging too.New "Q's" can be a bitch indeed, glad you didn't have to throw it off the deck. Cheers...

Sunday, April 21, 2013  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Toons, I couldn't throw it off the deck if I wanted to - much too heavy! But I can give it away, and that's my plan unless it continues to cooperate! :-)

Sunday, April 21, 2013  

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